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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 13, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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surprised by that. and maybe a bit reticent about flying overseas. >> depending on where we were in the world, it was different. >> evy, thank you for joining us. now, my colleague in washington jake tapper is picking up the coverage from here. so far it seems every lead, thwarted every theory contradicted. the only thing to do now is to expand the search grid again for flight 370. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." they may cast a wider net to find that flight. new information indicates that the plane may have flown four hours past the point of last contact. are searchers finally on the right track after days of dead ends? >> also, all right, good night. the final words from the pilots before they went silent. but radio is not the only way that the pilots could have
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communicated with the ground. and where is the debris? so far not a speck found. even if search crews were able to discover a speck of flight 370, that doesn't mean that the reason for the disappearance will follow. good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. welcome to "the lead." a new wrinkle in the story that has captivated the plan. it's been six days since malaysia flight 370 disappeared, seemingly into thin air. six days of dead ends and false alarms it's taking on dimensions such as the doomed planes and now nearly a week after flight 370 vanished without a trace, the white house says the search will get even wider. >> it is my understanding that
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one possible piece of information or collection pieces of information has led to the possibility that a new area, a search area may be opened in the indian ocean. >> in the indian ocean. what is this new information that has propelled the search in a different direction towards the west? the plane may have flown on for several hours beyond the last radar reading that the malaysians have shared. there are 56 ships and 30 aircraft taking part in the search but they better hurry because the locator beacons and flight recorders only have 23 days of battery life left. let's bring in jim sciutto and barbara starr. why do u.s. officials feel like the plane may have made it to the indian ocean? >> a senior u.s. official tells me that they now have information from the malaysians that the engines on this plane
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sent data to satellites, maintenance data about the engines, very routine business to do that, sent to satellites, several pings, if you were, picked up by the satellites. the malaysian ares getting some help from the united states. the possibility is that the plane flew four or five hours to the west out over the indian ocean. none of this is 100%, as you are pointing out. a lot of confusion, a lot of mystery about where this plane is. this is significant because it makes all eyes turn to the west, hundreds of square miles of the indian ocean now potentially to be looked at and the u.s. will have to decide how much it wants to participate in that new search. there are navy ships in the area. some officials that i'm talking
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to said the navy ships will move out over the indian ocean and some officials say they won't. we'll have to see what happens. >> "the wall street journal" had a similar report, although they have since corrected that report. explain to us the difference and the significance. >> well, their correction. they say rather than the data being transmitted back to ground, there's a system on the plane that's constantly sending data back throughout periodically. the data didn't go to the ground but it went up to a satellite which is similar to barbara and my own reporting. it's not just this engine data that gives them an indication that it went into the indian ocean. it's the radar data that the malaysian air force had, showing the plane taking a left turn and heading towards the south and west of the indian ocean and how much knowledge about the gas in the fuel tanks which gives them a sense of range. they had about seven hours of flying time fuel. took a turnabout two hours into the flight so it would give it four or five hours to fly
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conceivably. it's a combination of things. this is an investigation. these are all clues. some of the clues have not panned out. for instance, the satellite images. they have more than one clue that points them in this new direction. the radar data, the engine data and that's why they are going to be looking at the indian ocean. barbara starr says it's not 100%. three indications are pointing that way. >> plus, as we learned, so many leads, as you heard, have been undermined by further examination. what other capabilities does the u.s. government have to look at this situation completely independent of the malaysians? >> well, that's what is so important right now. we're told by u.s. officials that there are a number of intelligence and military analysts working this problem right now, looking at commercial satellite imagery, trying to look across all of these areas and see if they can figure out any anomalies, anything in the water that might indicate a
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piece of debris rather than just trash or garbage floating through the ocean, something more legitimate than what the chinese purported to show about 24 hours ago but there's an even bigger mystery here of another piece that they can't confirm right now, the same u.s. official telling me the emergency beacon system on the airplane that would have transmitted an emergency if the plane was about to impact the water or impact land. if it was about to go down. that system should have gone off and so farther not finding any data that shows it went off. doesn't give us much to go on about what happened to the plane and it's another piece of puzzle, jake. >> barbara starr and jim sciutto, thank you. joining me now from chattanooga, tennessee, former head of the national transportation board. he was head during the crash of
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twa. jim, thanks for joining us. so help us understand this with all this new information about the flight may have continued for several hours, based on information that the engine gave -- that was picked up by satellite, the u.s. officials now say that the flight may have continued westward into the indian ocean. why would that information be coming out now, six days after the flight disappeared? >> well, it took several days to get the ntsb experts in location and so i would imagine that now with individuals who will highly specialized in the accident investigation arena, that they are able to start putting together this puzzle as to where is the best place to look for
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this aircraft. >> there is a thing called acars. the airline's service data system. >> that's correct. >> did i get that right? >> yeah. it's a maintenance system that goes to a satellite and then to the ground that provides information about the mechanical health of the aircraft. it was that system that was very helpful in identifying the location of the air france accident. so i understand that information has come to light that may indicate that there's a possibility and this is pure speculation at this point, that this may be similar to the payne stewart flight, that there was some decompression of the oxygen system on the aircraft, incapacitating not only the crew but the passengers and the plane continued to flight for several hours. >> and what happened at that
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point, theoretically? and i understand that everything is speculation, although it is informed speculation, based on the most recent information that we're getting from government entities and investigators. what would happen at that point? would the transponder go out? would decompression lead to everybody on the plane becoming unconscious? what would happen? >> well, unfortunately, it would decompression after a handful of seconds. i think it was in the 30, 40 seconds without supplementary oxygen. unfortunately, everyone would become unconscious and it's a fatal event. again, this is pure speculation but i would hope the investigators are looking very closely at the maintenance records. it's a very modern aircraft, but it had a lot of cycles to try
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and determine what may have occurred. so if the pilot actually turned because of a problem to return and then there was an event that incapacitated the crew, we might have seen a situation that is being described here, the possibility of the plane then flying for several hours as a payne stewart plane did. we knew the payne stewart aircraft was over georgia, that the crew was incapacitated because the air force scrambled jets and were able to see to get close enough to the aircraft. but that plane continued forsever for several hours. we thought it was going to possibly crash in chicago but fortunately it veered, because of the winds it ended up in -- i believe it was south dakota. >> jim, in terms of the airliner
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service data system, which is where this latest information comes from, the airline's service data communicating with the satellite and that leads officials believe that the flight went westward into the indian ocean, how would they not be 100% sure that it was flight 370? are there not specific signals that are given off? >> well, they are going to have to -- i would imagine they will probably know more information than what has been released at this point. i think we ought to look very closely now at where the u.s. navy, if the u.s. navy starts searching in the indian ocean, i think that would be an indication that there's some reliable information that is a place that we need to be looking. >> let's lay out all of the twists and turns in terms of the location precisely of this plane and we'll put up a map. first we have the site where the
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transponder stopped working. and then we had the military pick up -- go ahead. i'm sorry. >> well, i'm saying, that's really the key event. there are only two ways that the transponder that i'm aware of could have stopped working and that it was turned off, which would be a very highly unusual move by the flight crew or there was an electrical failure of some kind. >> okay. so that's the last known site of flight 370. then we have the military -- the malaysian military pick up this radar blip on the western side of malaysia which we're still not sure if it's this plane. then yesterday we had satellite imagery from the chinese, not too far from the last known site of the plane back to the east that's been searched. nothing has been found. now we have reports that the flight may have gone on for four more hours towards the west and as far as the indian ocean. if you were leading this investigation right now, would you focus on the west, would you focus on the indian ocean or the
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last known spot more in the south china sea? >> well, if i was leading this investigation, first of all, i would be very dependent on the experts in radar technology and aviation that work for the board and work for various agencies to determine. this needs to be an extremely coordinated effort and hopefully we're going to see more of that now that we have all of the right players in place in malaysia. but obviously this is not simple. this is why i have been a long-time advocate for deployable recorders, such as we have on our f-18. but that recorder -- deployable signal had this aircraft gone
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into either the ocean or the ground. coming up next, how a plane communicates when a pilot does not say a word. we're looking at the signals that every plane sends back to land and what those signals can tell us about where flight 370 may be. and later, the anguish of waiting. >> as time goes on, i mean, i'm not diluted by the fact that as this goes on, there's less and less chance of finding anything. but just -- there's no finality to it, i can't give up. enix your education is built to help move your career forward. here's how: we work with leading employers to learn what you need to learn so classes impact your career. while helping ensure credits you've already earned pay off. and we have career planning tools to keep you on track every step of the way. plus the freshman fifteen, isn't really a thing here.
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malaysian authorities tell cnn they think several pings of the airliner were transmitting to satellites four to five hours after last contact with air traffic control on saturday. this all suggests that the plane could -- i want to emphasize the plane could have flown over the indian ocean. it still does not answer why it lost contact with the transponder an air after takeoff. >> reporter: inside the cockpit of a boeing 777, there are multiple ways that the pilots communicate with the ground. information beams down and until today we thought the last transmission was 1:07 a.m. local time. now there is word it may have been transmitting data hours beyond that. what information -- give me details, what kind of information is being beamed down. >> engine parameters,
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temperatures, amount of fuel burned, any maintenance discrepancy. >> airlines monitor the realtime data. radio, all right, good night, the final call from the pilots of flight 370 left malaysian air space. a common phrase when changing controllers. >> alaska airlines flight 261 when the plane dived out of control, pilots radioed what was happening. but no mayday from flight 370. >> in the event of an emergency, is communication secondary? >> yes. the first priority is to fly the aircraft and then communicate. >> reporter: a third way to communicate, by transponder. 12:1, a.m., the plane loses contact. >> is there any good reason that a pilot would want to switch that off?
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>> no. clearly, if all of the power was lost to the aircraft or something happened to take out that part of the electronics, the electrical system, yeah, that would turn it off. but certainly one aspect of turning it off is because you don't want to be seen. >> reporter: radar tracked flight 370 flying for another nine minutes. then the plane vanishes. but the one piece of the plane that is likely still communicating, the flight recorders. only sonar equipment can detect their pings and time is of essence. the signal only lasts for about 30 days. rene marsh, cnn. >> i want to bring in jim tillman, a retired aircraft pilot. what does this tell you about the last contact with the transponder? >> i'm troubled by the lack of more complete information. i've been looking at the
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timeline, jake, and it's very interesting to me that conversation that you mentioned that they had, the last known transmission from the cockpit was stated without any emotion or without any indication that anything was wrong. and moments later, literally moments later, the transponderers went off the line. now, what happened in that little time span between everything's okay, roger, have a nice night, and transponderer is off the line and no communication whatsoever after that point? and the other thing is, this thing about the engines communicating with acars on the ground, it's my understanding that transmission is not absolute in terms of by the realtime, this is a precise moment, that the information can be collected and saved and then sent out in bursts of communications through the
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system. that could happen after the engines may not be running because it's another communication system. there's a lot of possibilities. and i don't even have a favorite one right now. >> jim, is there a reason why pilots are even able to flip off transponders? i don't really know why that's an option? the plane is in the air, the transponder should automatically be on. >> essentially it is. but what if you had an electrical fire that involved the transponder? you would want to be able to turn it off. pilots don't like to have anything in the cockpit that you can't turn off. you don't know what you're going to need. i can't imagine a good reason for turning it off unless there was an electrical situation that could not be handled in another way. you can see that little box there. it's just got a switch to switch it on or off or from transponder
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number one to two. >> jim, you've logged thousands and thousands of hours flying commercial for 29 years. have you ever willfully cut ground communication with ground control? >> never. never. that's your lifeline. you depend on air traffic controllers because they let you know if there is traffic that you should know about or any other fact that would be interesting to you and the safety of your flight and the comfort of your passengers. no. i cannot imagine any reason for leaning over and shutting off the transponders. >> i'm no aviator, but i thought there were so many redundancies that built into planes that being noi knocking out communication could really only happen during a catastrophe. is that right? >> essentially that's correct. a gross electrical failure would do all of those things at one time and it could be simultaneously. a fire in the -- as they call it
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the e and e compartment, which is generally somewhere in the vicinity of the cockpit itself, that could disrupt a lot of things all at one time and electrical fires are pretty spooky. there are a few situations where they crash and once it starts it moves very rapidly. it could definitely take everything off the line. >> we had the former chief of staff of the federal aviation administration on the show yesterday and he said one possibility that hasn't really been pursued by investigators as much as he thought could be pursued is that the idea that the plane could be on land somewhere as opposed to in the ocean. is that more possible than people think? >> it's very possible. and being on land some place could mean one of two things. it crashed on land and with all that jungle-type terrain out
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there, the geography, it could hide under the canopy of trees. the other possibility of it landing someplace is that they intentionally flew that plane where they knew they could land and landed there and probably had no more damage. >> you know, this story has consumed the media, it's consumed people, the american public, and the public around the world. they are speculating, talking about what might have happened. we can all identify with the fear since most people fly. do pilots do this, too? when you guys talk, men and women pilots, is this consuming your discussions these days? >> well, i don't know if you'd want to use the word consuming but you can bet that there's theory about this person has and that person has and they really should be looking here and there. pilots are an interesting group.
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we've got sometimes more ego than we've got airplane. so we do like to give our opinions here and there and we will argue with anybody about aviation. >> all right. jim tilmon, thank you so much. when we come back, new information that the jet may have flown for hours after last contact. how does this new information change the investigation? well, the man who led the twa 800 investigation. he'll join us next. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? an apron is hard work.
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welcome back to "the lead." u.s. officials are telling cnn that they believe pings of data from the plane may show that it traveled four or five hours from it is last known location. that could expand the search into the indian ocean. they are working to analyze the new information and while they caution this is not 100%, it's one of the more promising leads in the ever growing search for
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the missing plane. joining me is the man who headed up the investigation of flight twa. james, thanks for joining us. u.s. officials are now saying they believe flight 370 could -- i want to emphasize again, could -- nothing is definite yet in this story -- could have flown for several more hours, based on some pings of data and that could be as far as the indian ocean. what does this new information tell you? >> well, my understanding, jake, is that that data is not continuous but builds up in little blocks of data and then periodically every half hour, every 20 minutes or whatever it sends particular data to the airline company, boeing, to the owner of the airline, malaysia air and to the builder of the engine which in this case is rolls royce. so it would give them a lot of technical data on how the systems are operating. i don't know what kind of location data it would give, if
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at all. but if this is true f. that plane continues to fly, i mean, that's another whole chapter in a very, very confusing case. >> so just to clarify, james, the fact that it stores update and then sends it out in half hour increments or whatever the time actually is, the fact that it continues to send it out, that means that the plane is still existent somewhere, right? it goes to a satellite and then distributes the data. >> right. >> okay. >> you're right. i would think that that means there was not some catastrophic event that put the plane into a million pieces and it's not in 100 feet of water somewhere, that it's continued to fly, i would guess that that would be the case. yes. >> and why would that be? >> and that would change where investigators are looking and also what they are looking for,
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presumably? >> i would think so, jake. they are going to be searching for every little radar that they can find because they need a heading on that plane and an altitude. so you draw that arc and you look at countries like pakistan and you get into your superman novels and see the plane landing somewhere and repurposing it for some deed down the road. that's not beyond the realm of realism. i mean, that could happen. why else would you do that? why would you take a plane off your normal route, shut off your transponders so that every other radar return looks about the same to a radar interceptor officer, it looks like a bunch of birds and then lower your altitudes apparently and fly somewhere else? why would you do that with a plane full of people? >> well, we have heard in the
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last day renewed emphasis on the possibility -- again, just the possibility of terrorism as the motive for and some explanation as to what happened to this flight. it sounds to me like somebody who used to work for the fbi, a catastrophic event happening to an airplane, you're revisiting that? >> we're getting so much conflicting data, jake, it's hard to -- you know, you veer one way and then veer the other way. people are saying that didn't happen. we really need definitive -- when i say we, the investigators need some definitive, correct data. if that was the case, the data exists. if it exists, it's going to tell them an awful lot. if it's fuzzy, they don't know it came from that plane, my understanding is that data is finger printed with that plane information. it's not just some random data. that data comes from that airplane. >> james, as somebody who headed
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up the investigation into what happened to flight twa 800, what is your assessment of how the malaysians have done so far when it comes to running this investigation? >> well, i don't want to pick on them because it's a terrible, tragic thing. i had the benefit of having this whole situation in the united states of america. having access to the navy operations on the east coast of this country and had their great differs divers. so we had it a lot easier and with that it was very, very complicated. the plane was in a million pieces and my heart goes out to those families sitting in these airports that don't know what's going on with their loved ones. it's a tragic, tragic situation. hopefully we'll get more focus on what really happened in the next day or two. >> i agree on that. and the anguish is unimaginable. james kallstrom, thank you so much as always. now the malaysian government
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is asking the citizens to keep their mouths shut but in a country where the government doesn't have to answer to anyone but itself, is lack of transparency one of the problems here? gunderman group is a go. yes! not just a start up. an upstart. gotta get going. gotta be good. good? good. growth is the goal. how do we do that? i talked to ups. they'll help us out. new technology. smart advice. we focus on the business and they take care of the logistics. ups? good going. we get good. that's great. great. great. great. great. great. great. great. great. (all) great! i love logistics.
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welcome back to "the lead". i'm jake tapper. adding to the complexities are the layers upon layers of confusing and conflicting information being doled out by malaysian investigators and authorities. one official said that the malaysians have been sharing conclusions but not always the raw data behind them. the ensuing chaos highlights a lack of confidence and accountability that the people of malaysia have come to expect. joining me now live is a senior adviser for southeast asia studies at the center for strategic and international studies. thank you for being here.
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can you explain why accountability may be at play here? there's no free press in malaysia and obviously there's no freedom of religion. could that be one of the problems? >> actually, you're wrong on both counts. >> there is freedom of press and religion? >> there is. >> the predominant press and the media is open. the main newspaper is owned by the government and the government actually had a run for its money in the last election. religion is free. it's an islamic state but actually all religions are present there and it's also a multiethnic country. >> okay. so i don't want to get into quibbling. different experts disagree with you. what do you think the problem is here? obviously this has not been what
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americans are used to when a disaster happens in this country. obviously this is a developing nation. but what's the problem? >> jake, i think the problem is that the malaysians don't have experience with this kind of disaster. it's up with of these kourncoun, that it hasn't been tested with a disaster like this and i think stress -- on a stress test they are failing in terms of coordination among interagency process and communication with the world and with their partners. >> and what is the culture there in terms of transparent in terms of the government as quickly as possible and expeditiously as possible. >> i think like most developing nations, it's in the middle of a turn. it has started to open up. the growing middle class has opened it up. but before this there wasn't a culture of accountability. the government has been very
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defensive and we can see that in their responses. >> do you think there's anything to it that this was a state-owned airline, that that's one of the reasons that they have a pride about the airline, a previous expert said that this reminds them of the egypt crash. the egyptian government didn't want to acknowledge any problems potentially because it was a source of pride for the country. >> it is. there's no doubt about it. the malaysians are a proud country and i think they are horrified that this could happen to one of their planes. it's a state-owned company, malaysia airlines. the military doesn't have the answer and it's embarrassing. they don't have the maritime to know where this plane is and they have countries like china, the united states and others who are asking to help and are asking questions about where the people are. >> the chinese are very angry because obviously a lot of people on the flight are chinese. how close are china and
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malaysia? how close are the governments? >> the prime minister of malaysia, his father opened relations with china. there's a close link there. malaysians are also very close to us. the chinese have been vocal in their criticism and i think they could be learning the wrong lessons and what we don't want to see is the chinese connect dots and give this as a reason to expand their presence in the south china sea. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. young parents on a much needed vacation, teenage sweethearts traveling back after visiting their families. their stories and the wife who won't yet believe that her husband is gone. coming up. [ children yelling ]
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as their stand off with kiev and the west threatens to spill over they are training in the southern military district of florida. this comes days after a referendum in crimea set for sunday on whether to permanently join the russian federation. it's a vote that president obama completely rejects. he still believes there's a chance to resolve the conflict in a peaceful manner. inner city poverty is a cultural problem according to paul ryan. >> we have got this tailspin of culture in the inner cities in particular and men not working, generations of men not even thinking about working. >> ryan made the comments yesterday on bill bennett's radio show morning in america and lawmakers took issue. barbara lee of california said
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it was a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. these are simply code words for what he really means, black. ryan later insisted that his comments have nothing to do with race at all and that the problems exist in rural areas. in a statement obtained by cnn, after reading the transcript of the interview it was clear that i was inarticulate and not i am pli indicating of one culture as a whole. this may have been the reference to the academic work of charles murray who has been accused of using racist to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority. they have been trying to discuss ways to combat poverty.
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the inner city is the focus of cnn's original series "chicagoland." it explores the toughest issues facing a tough town. that's at 10:00 eastern and 9:00 central. 239 passengers were on board flight 370, including two infants. next, the stories of missing parents, teenagers, and traveling friends. next, stay with us. ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." continuing our world lead, the search for missing flight 370, as we wait for word on what exactly happened to the 239 people on board, those impacted by the tragic nature of all of this are finding poignant ways to honor the crew and passengers. this shows two hands holding a
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plane saying "pray for flight 370." we've learned a lot in the past six days about who was on that plane. some were young families and business men taking a are you teen trip or couples taking long-awaited vacations. while their stories and background may be tied to a fate and a mystery that may never be solved. 239 souls, including 12 crew and two infants boarded malaysia airlin airlines flight 370. >> it's our duty to follow every lead and we all run the risk of not paying attention to the tragedy behind it, the loss of humanity. phillip wood, an ibm executive,
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father of two. 33-year-old mohammed ibbrahim was traveling and seen here in this photo that he posted to social media. these two seen here on facebook were traveling together, returning to a trip from malaysia with his mother and younger sister. paul left his wedding ring and watch with his wife before boarding the plane to give to their sons in case anything should happen. she held on to the ring wednesday as she spoke to cnn. >> i've got it here and i'm praying that i can give that back to him. so i can hold on to because there's no finality to it and we're not getting any information. it's just praising. >> these men left their two young children with other members of their family as they embarked on a vacation together. >> they left the two boys with her mom back in beijing.
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he was very much in love with her. and as parents, nothing was more important to them than those kids. >> a dozen crew members are also missing. the daughter of chief stewart andrew nari continues to tweet messages to her missing father. my dad must be busy serving the passengers food and drink, she tweeted on wednesday. and this man, age 27 -- >> hi, everyone. >> the experienced pilot as seen here in one of the many youtube videos posted under his name. teaching others how to do household repairs. comments such as, come back, captain, fled the page. but with each passing hour, that seems increasingly, tragically, impossible. pages have been set up on social media sites honoring the plane's passengers. one on facebook already has
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20,000 likes. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i switch you over to wolf blitzer. wolf? >> jake, thanks very much. happening now, the mystery of flight 370 as they sit through conflicting information. investigators have new reason to believe the missing airliner could have flown for several hours after the last radar reading was received. new details about the signals from the airliner apparently received by satellites. we're looking at how planes transmit such data and how it can help the search. and the u.s. military is expanding its search towards the indian ocean anded aing a powerful new asset to that hunt, we'll get an update from a navy ship commander deployed in the region. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we have new information in the search for malaysia airlines flight 370. u.s.